It’s 9:00 pm
When I was reviewing “Taken By Grace” ,I shared how I stumbled across my first viewing of a faith based movie. What I didn’t share until now is after that experience I kept my eye out to see if that was a one trick pony or was the religious channel going to start showing films like that on a regular basis.
I only saw one other movie during that brief time and I caught it in the middle of the movie. The premise was a young girl was flying to a college out west to see if she had gotten a music scholarship and found out she was sitting next to Jesus.
It took a awhile before I found the films title which was “Another Perfect Stranger” and it was a sequel to a earlier movie.
Flash forward…I have found the NAME of the first film,it was of course named “The Perfect Stranger” but I cannot find out how to get a copy,its not at Best Buy,Blockbuster or any of the used DVD places I used to haunt. I file it in my “movies to find” and life goes on.
Two months ago,I read a local Christian bookstore chain was closing its doors,I decided to take a peek. I admit,I wasn’t looking for “The Perfect Stranger”,I had given up ever finding it,I was looking for two different movies (which were already gone). As I looked at the 60% discounted table,I saw a 8 DVD boxed set and took a peek and saw “A Perfect Stranger” AND “The Next Perfect Stranger”. I had finally found those movies! I had to wait for the price to drop to an affordable range but I was patient and was able to pick up the boxed set for a fair price. I know,I know….this is a LONG intro to a review but I had to share the back story!!!
“The Perfect Stranger” opens with Nikki (Pamela Brumley) fixing lunch for her daughter Sarah. The school bus is here but Sarah is running late. Nikki urges her to hurry and is clearly miffed her husband Matt is not helping but is looking at his phone.
Nikki says good-bye to Sarah and tells her to behave at her overnight stay at a friend’s home and sends her to the bus.
Nikki is happy she finally has a date night with Matt and that they have dinner plans at a Italian restaurant that Nikki has set up,they have barely seen each that week but by Nikki’s tone,you sense its been more then a week.
Matt says he can’t as a buddy scored him a Cubs ticket,when Nikki gets upset,Matt suggests she become friends with a local church group in their new neighborhood.
Nikki rails against that,she clearly has problems with church groups and God in general.
She arrives to work at a law office and finds a invitation to have dinner with Jesus Christ at the same Italian place she had wanted to take her husband.
At first Nikki is upset and thinks its a prank by one of her co-workers but after being it it wasn’t,Nikki thinks its really Matt,who else would know the exact date,time and place in which they were supposed to meet at?
She then drives to to restaurant and is surprised to see a handsome man waiting her,he shakes her and introduces himself as Jesus (played by Jefferson Moore). At first Nikki is not amused and is ready to leave but Jesus asks her to stay and to tell Nikki who sent Him here to meet her after they eat,with Jesus paying (again) the bill. Nikki has questions and Jesus has the answers……but will be they the answers Nikki wants to hear or needs to hear……
“The Perfect Stranger” was co-directed by Shane Sooter and Moore and was adapted from David Gregory’s book of the same name. This was Kelly’s Filmworks first feature length film. Made on a 100,000.00 budget by a hard working crew of artists feeling their way through the movie making process.
So the small bumps as poor lighting in some places,some really bad music throughout the film and a couple of glaring editing glitches are to be expected. The big question is this faith based movie any good and the answer is yes,I actually did like this but works only because of the chemistry between Brumley (this has been her only film credit as of today) and Moore. The give and take is strong sometimes and pretty dry at others. Things that Nikki should address never get resolved but Brumley’s face is radiant and glowing as she realizes she really IS having dinner with Jesus. She gives Nikki a lot of heart but isn’t afraid to show her inner weaknesses as well.
Moore plays Jesus with a restrained hand,there are no theatrics or melodramatic “Highway to Heaven” moments here. Nikki has questions and doubts and Jesus is sensitive yet firm in addressing them.
The cheetah gave this a neutral paw while I gave it a thumbs half-way up.
“The Perfect Stranger” runs for about 70 minutes and would be rated “G”.
There is a “Making Of….” featurette that shows what went into “The Perfect Stranger”.
You can buy “The Perfect Stranger” at most Christian bookstores or on the Kelly’s Filmworks website.
What do you think about today’s Christian based films? Leave a comment below!!